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Melbourn I vs Peterborough II (9th February)

Melbourn won 18-6

Melbourn’s 1st squash team enjoyed a home match against Peterborough 2 last week. However, playing without their number 1, Matt Sampson, meant the match was likely to be more of a challenge.
Vinod Duraiken went on early at 1 string and this start time clearly suited him. He eased through his match and was always in control, winning 3-0, 15-8/15-11/15-12.
Ed Aspelling at 4 string had a score to settle in his match feeling of all matches from the first half, this was the one where he let himself down. Playing with real purpose, he stormed to a 2-0 lead. All hopes that his opponent’s head would go down were proved wrong by the next two games which were hard fought by both but taken by the Peterborough player. Coming down to a fifth and final game, it was a matter of who had the greatest mental and physical energy and determination to win. Thankfully, it was Ed who kept a clear head, controlled the rallies, and took the fifth game and a 3-2 victory: 15-5/15-9/9-15/7-15/15-6.
Mike Herd is a very welcome recent addition to the Melbourn team and he did an outstanding job on his first outing. Looking the classier player from the off, Mike controlled the games with calm and sagacious play. Although he dropped the third game, the result was never really in doubt and he notched up a 3-1 win, 15-6/15-10/12-15/15-12.
Captain Mark Oppen’s match often looked out of control, but this was largely down to the somewhat frenetic play of his opponent which sometimes drew him into that more reactive style of play. Oppen took an extremely tight and frantic first game 16-14, then managed to introduce enough composure on his shots to outplay his tricky opponent and proceeded to take the next two more easily 15-11/15-8 and a 3-0 win.
Kate Bradshaw moved up to 2 seed for the evening and started well by taking the first game 15-13. Although not as frenetic a game as Oppen’s, Bradshaw too found herself getting dragged into her opponent’s style of harder hitting which favoured him. She tried to re-impose her game plan but couldn’t maintain adequate consistency towards the back end of the games. The only match going against Melbourn of the evening, Bradshaw lost 3-1, 15-13/12-15/12-15/8-15.
Pleased to get through his own game and with another team win Mark Oppen commented “With everyone having to play against a higher seeded opponent, the pressure did show at times but thankfully some steady and controlled game play gave us another well-earned win”